Columbus to find new home for Christopher Columbus statue

In choosing a new owner, city leaders are considering the local benefit
A 15-year-old created a petition to remove a statue of Christopher Columbus in Columbus, WI.
A 15-year-old created a petition to remove a statue of Christopher Columbus in Columbus, WI.((WMTV/Michelle Baik))
Published: Sep. 6, 2020 at 5:30 PM CDT
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COLUMBUS, Wis. (WMTV) - The City of Columbus is considering what to do with its controversial statue of Christopher Columbus, the explorer the city is named after.

The statue was removed from its pedestal and placed into temporary storage early July, following a petition started by resident Abigail Adams. The petition argued that the statue did not provide any context for Columbus’ now controversial actions after landing in the Americas.

“There is nothing here telling the history of how he enslaved thousands of Native Americans,” Adams said. “There’s nothing here saying he set a precedent for how European colonizers would treat the Native American populations for hundreds of years to come.”

City leaders called on the community to submit ideas for what should be done with the statue in August. Proposals were due by Sept. 4 for review.

“The City of Columbus is seeking proposals for the re-use of a large fiberglass statue of Christopher Columbus,” the request said. “The City is interested to consider how community and cultural organizations may re-use the statue in or around the City of Columbus, although parties outside of the Columbus area who have a serious interest in obtaining the statue may also submit proposals for consideration.

In choosing a new owner, city leaders are considering the local benefit.

“How does the submission benefit the City of Columbus?” the request said. “Is there an educational or cultural component to the proposal?”

Submissions are currently being reviewed by city leaders. According to the request, the review process will be complete Sept. 11 and the statue will be given to its new owner on Nov. 20.

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